Author Topic: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets  (Read 3826 times)

Offline Dave F

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A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« on: June 16, 2014, 02:11:09 PM »
I just picked up two nice W.E. sets in mirror-gold finish, a 500C/D and a 702B.  These are the best-condition sets of this type I have ever seen.  Both were made in 1965 and have apparently been in storage ever since.  There is virtually no wear or degradation of the finish anywhere, just some minor surface dust.  500 set came with a yellow handset cord and no line cord.  Princess has two white cords.  I haven't had time to dust them off or take any pictures of my own, and the pictures shown below came from the seller.

DF

Offline paul-f

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 02:18:30 PM »
Beautiful phones, Dave.
 
They create some obvious problems for the photographer to show off the phones without getting in the act or showing distracting reflections of other things in the room.
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Offline BDM

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 02:18:56 PM »
Very nice Dave. Dave educate me on these. I'm not familiar with them and would have incorrectly assumed they were home made (meaning something or someone other than W.E.)

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Offline AE40FAN

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 02:22:17 PM »
I saw the ebay auction for these. I agree, probably the best condition mirrored gold sets ever to be seen.

Offline Dave F

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 02:37:53 PM »
Very nice Dave. Dave educate me on these. I'm not familiar with them and would have incorrectly assumed they were home made (meaning something or someone other than W.E.)
These are genuine W.E.-produced phones, although I can't say whether the finish was applied at the W.E. factory or was subcontracted out.  They were made in limited numbers and were generally used as performance awards and retirement gifts for W.E. and other Bell System employees.  A few ended up on display in phone company business offices.  The process of plating onto plastic produces a nice finish, but it is pretty fragile, and most of these phones easily show their age and wear.  These two were obviously well protected (and will hopefully remain that way!)

DF

I saw the ebay auction for these. I agree, probably the best condition mirrored gold sets ever to be seen.

Over the years, I have passed on other opportunities to add mirror-finish phones to my collection.  My perfectionism has kept me from jumping in but, on seeing these, I knew it was time to finally say yes.

DF
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 12:10:09 PM by Dave F »

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 04:00:19 PM »
Awesome phones, Dave.  Congrats.  I also have a couple Princess models with that finish.  They have White G3 handsets and white cords. 

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 04:59:29 PM »
Sweet phones and finds! I'm very envious, especially because you have the pair.

Ben

Offline Dave F

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 12:17:25 PM »
Awesome phones, Dave.  Congrats.  I also have a couple Princess models with that finish.  They have White G3 handsets and white cords. 
Most of the gold sets I have seen in the past have had white handsets.  This is something I could never quite understand.  If they were committed to putting in the time and expense to produce gold housings, it seems to me that likewise-gold handsets would have been an elegant and logical addition.  In fact, the presence of the gold handsets was one of the big motivating factors in my purchase of these two phones.

DF

Offline jsowers

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 12:42:15 PM »
The gold flashing easily wore off the handset, so it wasn't viable to produce gold handsets for the general public. That has to be why they used ivory, white or black handsets instead with the Imperial and the Princess. Gold handsets are found mostly on presentation models.
 
Your two gold sets are really nice. It's rare to see them in NOS condition. Any amount of use and the flashing wore off. I've also seen copper flashed phones and they wore too.
 
I've never seen a gold set with a yellow cord before. Sometimes they had matching metallic gold cords, but not always. These gold sets look to me like they're picked at random from surplus and given the treatment by someone, either in-house or a sub-contractor. The one I have is an oddball 502 set with an exclusion switchhook. Many times the dates don't match inside the phones. My phone is from 1958 with plastics from 1967. Let us know what you find inside when they arrive.
Jonathan

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 01:17:33 PM »
Awesome phones, Dave.  Congrats.  I also have a couple Princess models with that finish.  They have White G3 handsets and white cords. 
Most of the gold sets I have seen in the past have had white handsets.  This is something I could never quite understand.  If they were committed to putting in the time and expense to produce gold housings, it seems to me that likewise-gold handsets would have been an elegant and logical addition.  In fact, the presence of the gold handsets was one of the big motivating factors in my purchase of these two phones.

DF

Dave, I think it goes along to compliment the Imperials.
D/P

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Offline Russ Kirk

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 05:16:14 PM »
Nice find Dave!  I saw those auctions and was thinking about bidding myself,  but I got busy and missed the auctions.  Glad we did not get into a bidding war,  I was willing to pay higher that what the final was. You got those two sets for a real ood price!
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 07:50:06 PM »
For posterity, or, if anyone would want to know what they sold for 10 years from now . . .

Offline Dave F

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Re: A New Find: Two Mirror-Gold W.E. Sets
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 10:50:31 PM »
Nice find Dave!  I saw those auctions and was thinking about bidding myself,  but I got busy and missed the auctions.  Glad we did not get into a bidding war,  I was willing to pay higher that what the final was. You got those two sets for a real good price!
Russ,

Actually, those were the Buy-It-Now prices set by the seller.  The phones looked so nice that I was surprised they had not already been snatched up by somebody else.  I had to inspect the photos carefully to see if there were some serious defects that I hadn't noticed.  After deciding that they were, in fact, nearly NOS, I went ahead and bought them both.  Not exactly inexpensive, but I think it was a good deal.  I also sprung for Priority Mail to reduce the time they spent within the postal system, and I got the seller to ship them in separate boxes to further reduce the chances of a disaster.  He followed all my detailed shipping instructions, packed them very securely, and they arrived quickly and with no damage.

Dave